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Champions League: Ronaldo, Higuain score as Juve beat Leverkusen [See all results & last 16 qualifiers]

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain scored late goals as already-qualified Juventus beat hosts Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 in the Champions League Group D finale on Wednesday to eliminate the Germans from the competition.

Ronaldo tapped in from close range in the 75th minute after having missed an almost identical chance in the first half and Higuain scored in stoppage time to put Juve top of the group on 16 points.

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Atletico Madrid, on 10, also advanced with a 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow, leaving Leverkusen in third place on six points and with a spot in the Europa League the next year.

 

Reuters

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See all results

GROUP A

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Club Bruges 1-3 Real Madrid
Paris Saint Germain 5-0 Galatasaray

GROUP B

Bayern Munich 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Olympiakos 1-0 Red Star Belgrade

GROUP C

Dinamo Zagreb 1-4 Manchester City
Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Atalanta

GROUP D

Atlético Madrid 2-0 Lokomotiv Moscow
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0-2 Juventus

Last 16 qualifiers:

Group A: Paris St-Germain (winners), Real Madrid (runners-up)

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Group B: Bayern Munich (winners), Tottenham (runners-up)

Group C: Manchester City (winners), Atalanta (runners-up)

Group D: Juventus (winners)

Group E: Liverpool (winners), Napoli (runners-up)

Group F: Barcelona (winners), Borussia Dortmund (runners-up)

Group G: RB Leipzig (winners), Lyon (runners-up)

Group H: Valencia (winners), Chelsea (runners-up)

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Europa League: Man United, Inter through to semifinal

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Manchester United and Inter Milan have secured berths in the semifinal of the Europa League.

Inter Milan beat Bayern Leverkusen 2-1 on Monday night at the Merkur Spiel-Arena, Nigerian Odion Ighalo was benched as United laboured to an extra time 1-0 win over Danish club, FC Copenhagen.

Both Inter Milan and United missed out on domestic trophies in Italy and England; hence the Europa League is the only remaining silverware in what has been a largely challenging season all thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

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In the Inter versus Leverkusen duel, Antonio Conte’s men did themselves a lot of good racing to a two-goal lead inside 21 minutes.

Nicolo Barella set the tone with his 15th-minute strike before Romelu Lukaku continued his superb goal scoring adding to the tally six minutes afterwards.

Kai Havertz who has been linked with a possible transfer to many clubs in England showed why he is in hot demand as he pulled one back for the German team.

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While expectations were high for a more explosive second half, there turned to be no more goals but Inter had done just enough to progress to the semi-final.

Elsewhere, Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty in extra time as ‘dull’ Manchester United scraped past FC Copenhagen 1-0 on Monday in the quarter-finals clash.

Mason Greenwood thought he had put United in front late on in the first half but his effort – as well as Marcus Rashford’s effort shortly after the restart were both ruled out for offside.

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United dominated throughout, hitting the post three times before Bruno Fernandes’ penalty after 94 minutes.

United have now set up a semi-final clash against Sevilla or Wolves, joining Inter Milan in the last four following the Italian side’s 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in Dusseldorf.

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Bruno Fernandes fires Manchester United into Europa League semi-finals

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Bruno Fernandes’s extra-time penalty edged Manchester United through to the Europa League semi-finals as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side toiled to victory against gutsy FC Copenhagen.

An overturned penalty, two disallowed goals, and efforts of the woodwork frustrated the Old Trafford giants during a goalless 90 minutes in which the Danish side looked dangerous despite failing to register a shot on target.

Fernandes would save the day from the spot in extra time, securing a 1-0 victory and a last-four date against Wolves or Sevilla back at Stadion Koln this Sunday.

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Solskjaer will need a vastly-improved performance if they are to get any further than that, though, as their tired, sloppy play was compounded by Copenhagen playing with the intensity you would expect from a side in their first-ever European quarter-final.

United struggled to find a rhythm in the stifling Cologne heat but had the better of the chances, with the VAR ruling out a penalty and then Mason Greenwood’s emphatic strike in the first half.

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Marcus Rashford saw a goal ruled out for offside before Fernandes hit a post in the second period, with Anthony Martial superbly denied as regulation time wound down.

The match was on a knife-edge as play headed into extra time, which was just five minutes old when Fernandes scored from a spot-kick won by Martial.

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Copenhagen retained hope as goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnson produced a string of superb saves and Victor Lindelof became the latest to hit the goal frame, but there was to be no late leveler for Stale Solbaken’sdogged side.

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I’m yet to receive Olympic gold medal won in ’96 – Ex-Super Eagles coach

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A former coach of the Super Eagles, Johannes-Franciscus Bonfrere, says he is yet to receive his Olympic gold medal more than two decades after leading the team to victory in Atlanta, USA.

The Dutch technical expert was in charge of the Nigerian under-23 football team that won Africa’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in football at the 1996 games.

Bonfrere managed the team which had quality players like Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Emmanuel Amuneke, Sunday Oliseh, Daniel Amokachi, Celestine Babayaro, Taribo West, Victor Ikpeba, amongst others.

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The team defeated Brazil 4-3 in the semi-final before beating a very coordinated Argentina side 3-2 in the final.

In an interview with BCOS TV, the former Super Eagles coach said that 24 years after leading Nigeria to the glorious outing in the USA, he is yet to receive his gold medal.

“I have not been given the Olympic gold medal we won in 1996. After we celebrated our victory over Argentina at the final, I was prevented from climbing the podium to receive my medal.

“They said mine was not available. I was annoyed and refused to return with the team to Nigeria. I went to Holland instead. It is unfair that after bringing glory to Nigeria, I was denied of my rewards,” he said.

Recall that in June 2018, minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, handed over the keys of a house allocated to Bonfrere in fulfilment of Nigerian government’s pledge to him 26 years ago for winning the 1994 African Cup of Nations.

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